For the dough
- 2 cups Italian 00 flour, or all-purpose flour
- 1 3/4 cups semolina flour
- 2 egg whites , room temperature
- 1/4 cup water, lukewarm, more if needed
- 1/2 cup lard or unsalted butter, softened
- pinch of salt
For the filling
- 2 1/2 cups fresh sheep's milk ricotta cheese (if unavailable, cow's milk ricotta- whole milk), well-drained
- 1 cup Italian 00 flour, or all-purpose flour
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 egg yolks, room temperature
- Lemon zest, from one large lemon
- Grated orange zest, from one large orange
- 1 teaspoon saffron threads (crushed and dissolved in 1 tablespoon warm water)
- 2 teaspoon baking powder
For the Dough
- Combine the semolina flour, flour, salt, and softened butter in a large bowl. Mix with your hands until the mixture resembles a rough crumble.
- Whisk together the egg whites and water in a separate bowl until well combined.
- Add the egg white and water to the bowl with flour and butter. Mix everything until a dough forms. If the dough seems too wet, add a bit of flour. If it seems too dry, add a bit of water. You can use a stand mixer or knead the dough on a lightly floured surface. The dough will be slightly sticky. Once combined and smooth dough forms, cover with plastic wrap and let rest for 30-60 minutes.
For the Filling
- In a separate bowl, prepare the filling by combining the ricotta cheese, saffron water, sugar, egg yolks, lemon zest, and orange zest. Using a hand mixer, or stand mixer with whisk attachment, beat until smooth and creamy, about 5 minutes.
- Sift in the flour and baking powder and mix until well combined.
Baking and Assembly
- Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C).
- Take half of the dough and roll it out with a pasta roller or rolling pin it into thin sheets. If you use this pasta machine, it is a 5-6 setting. If the sheets get too long when rolling, you can cut the dough sheet in half again so it is easier to handle.
- Cut into dough circles about 3- 3.5 inches in diameter using a round cookie cutter. You can save the excess dough scraps, bake them separately, and sprinkle them with sugar before baking.
- Add 1 heaping tablespoon of the ricotta saffron filling to the center of each disk. Pinch the edges of the dough in 6 places to make the traditional pardulas shape (star-shaped tartlets). Repeat with the rest of the dough and filling.
- Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Lightly brush the tops of the pardulas with egg wash (optional). Bake for 25-30 minutes or until lightly golden brown.
- Turn off the oven and let the pardulas rest for 10 more minutes before taking them out. This trick helps the pardulas keep their shape. Cool on a wire rack.
- Dust with powdered sugar (icing sugar) or brush with honey and decorate with colorful sprinkles. Enjoy a taste of Sardegna!
Use high-quality ingredients: Opt for fresh sheep's milk ricotta cheese if available, as it provides a rich and authentic flavor. Choose fine semolina flour and fresh saffron threads for the best results.
Ensure the dough consistency: When mixing the dough ingredients, aim for a dough that holds together but is not overly sticky. Adjust the amount of flour or butter if needed to achieve the right consistency.
Properly seal the filling: When forming the Pardulas, make sure to seal the dough tightly around the filling to prevent leakage during baking. This will help maintain their shape and preserve the creamy ricotta center.
Let the dough rest before rolling and baking.
Avoid overcrowding the baking pan: Give each Pardula enough space on the baking pan or muffin tin to expand and cook evenly. Overcrowding can result in uneven baking and affect the final texture.
Monitor the baking time: Keep a close eye on the Pardulas while they bake to prevent over-browning. The goal is to achieve a golden color on the outside while maintaining a moist and tender interior.
Dust with powdered sugar just before serving: Wait until the Pardulas have completely cooled before dusting them with powdered sugar. This ensures a clean and visually appealing presentation.
Enjoy at their best: Sardinian Pardulas are typically enjoyed within a day or two of baking when they are at their freshest. Serve them at room temperature to fully appreciate their flavors and textures.
- Prep Time: 30 min
- Cook Time: 40 minutes
- Category: Sweet
- Method: Italian
- Cuisine: Italian
Keywords: pardulas, pardule, sardinian dessert, authentic italian, ricotta cheese, cake, cookies